The report “Snack Pellets Market by Type (Potato, Corn, Rice, Tapioca, Multigrain), Form (Laminated, Tridimensional, Die-face, Gelatinized), Technique (Twin-screw extruder, Single-screw extruder), Flavor (Plain, Flavored, Nutritional), and Region – Global Forecast to 2023″The snack pellets market is estimated to account for about USD 2.0 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach a value of about USD 2.5 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 5.3% from 2018. The snack pellets market is highly impacted by innovations, as manufacturers are always introducing new ingredients, new variants, and processing techniques to meet the increasing demand and cater to changing consumer demands. The rise in on-the-go consumption has encouraged the savory snack manufacturing industry to produce new products that could meet these rising demands from the working-class consumers. In addition to this, the growing focus on facility expansion, marketing schemes, and information exchange programs for creating awareness to enhance the consumption of snack pellets have contributed to the growth of the market.
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Rise in demand for prepared and convenience foods
The snack pellets market is primarily driven by the growth of the processed food industry. The changes in lifestyles and high disposable incomes of the population have led to an increased demand for ready-to-eat food products, as they help save time and efforts. In addition to this, the demand for processed food and an increase in the trend of snacking between meals are also fueling the demand for extruded food products. Children and young adults require fillers in between their meals. Snacks act as alternatives to such fillers and are hence widely preferred. Being easy to consume and buy, consumers are increasing their purchase of snacks. Hence, snack manufacturers are demanding more and varied snack pellets to increase their production and meet the rising demand of snack pellets.
The rise in per capita income and the trend of snacking between meals are fueling the demand for snack pellets. Consumer preferences in emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, and the Middle East have gradually transitioned from traditional home-made breakfasts and snacking meals to ready-to-eat products over the last couple of decades.
High acrylamide content in snack foods
Snack pellets are further processed for consumption by frying or through the hot air expansion process. A critical issue faced by the snack pellets industry is the formation of acrylamide during frying. The asparagine and glucose present in the food form acrylamide when reacted in temperatures above 248°F. Acrylamide, when consumed in excess, can be carcinogenic and also affects the taste of the snack pellets. The presence of acrylamide has negatively impacted the growth of potato-based snack pellets. Thus, to decrease the acrylamide levels in potato-based snack pellets, frying at a controlled thermal input, vacuum condition, and flash frying ought to be implemented by the manufacturers.
In recent years, companies such as Novozymes A/S (Denmark) have introduced enzymes that help in reducing the content of acrylamide and mask the insipid flavor. Another food player, J.R. Simplot Company (US), developed genetically modified (GM) potato varieties classified as Innate Generation 1 and Innate Generation 2, in 2014. The potato variety, Innate Generation 1, received safety approval in 2015, while the Innate Generation 2 received approval in 2017 from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These potato varieties offer various benefits to the potato industry for key issues such as acrylamide formation in snack pellets, along with late blight disease, black spot bruising, sprouting, and shrinkage or loss of weight during storage. Hence, these potato varieties developed by the company contain less asparagine, which helps in the reduction of acrylamide formation at high temperatures. However, consumer perception of snack pellets having carcinogenic components restrains the market growth.
Government initiatives and investments to expand the processed and extruded food sectors
The demand for extruded snacks is expected to rise in emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil, and Russia, due to increasing consumer preference toward ready-to-eat food products. To tap these markets, snack manufacturers are increasing their production, due to which the requirement for food extruders is increasing in the region. Globally, the demand for extruded snacks is increasing. This is encouraging snack pellet manufacturers to expand and improve their production facilities. In Europe, high demand is witnessed for processed snack products. The European Snacks Association (ESA) has supported the markets for snacks and snack pellets by bringing together various stakeholders associated with the snacks industry. The association arranges various trade shows, conferences, and publishes technical insights for promoting trade by sharing knowledge. The ESA takes the responsibility to inform the members of the current and emerging trends of the association. Also, the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers provides all the support in terms of technical expertise and other guidance to set up, expand, or upgrade businesses. Such initiatives by governments are helping snack pellet manufacturers to expand their business, hence creating an opportunity for the growth of the snack pellet market.
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Operational complexity during food processing
The viscosity, screw speed, temperature, and pressure, along with the complexity of the mathematical descriptions of the process, are closely inter-related. These dynamics present a challenge for accurate dynamic modeling of the extrusion process. Also, there are several load variables for viscosity regulations, depending on the choice of the manipulation variable, which may present disturbances. Extra caution needs to be taken while processing functional products, as there may be a loss of nutrients of the ingredients during processing. Such factors are the major challenges in snack pellets processing, and hence, can hinder the growth of the overall snack pellets market.
The key players identified in this market include Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients (France), Liven S.A. (Spain), Grupo Michel (Mexico), Leng d’Or S.A. (Spain), Pellsnack-Products GmbH (Germany), J. R. Short Milling (US), Pasta Foods Ltd (UK), Noble Agro Food Products Ltd (India), Bach Snacks s.a.l. (Lebanon), Mafin Spa (Italy), Le Caselle S.p.A. (Italy), and Van Marcke Foods (the Netherlands).
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